There are many things that can go wrong and tamper with our day, things that can make getting through a day a lot harder than it needs to be. And, sometimes, there are what we like to call “The Little Things”. These are the things that help bring a smile to our face after a long day. This blog will help you understand what the “The Little Things” are and will help you appreciate their role in our day.

Picture this: you’re searching for a turtle using the telemetry equipment, the signal is very weak and it has been taking you in circles for almost an hour instead of helping you locate the turtle that you are tracking. Fortunately, you have managed to bring the range down to a level that indicates that the turtle is only a few meters in radius from you. It is a hot day out, the swarms of bugs are thick, and there are five more turtles on the agenda that need to be tracked and located before the end of the day. Just as you are about to give up, you see something move in the corner of your eye. When you look down you notice a little turtle head peering up at you with what appears to be a little smirk on its face. With that, you have successfully found the turtle and can happily record the relevant information and move onto the next track knowing the turtle is happy and healthy. It’s The Little Things like this that really make you smile after a long day of wading through wetlands to track turtles.

The Blanding’s turtles that we are tracking blend in well in with the twigs, moss, dark water, and other debris in the wetlands in which they live.  Spotting them brings a great sign of relief, as it means that they are alive and well, and that we can collect the valuable information that will all come together to tell an interesting story!

Canoeing is our mode of transportation when travelling to and through the various wetlands, it is how we “commute” to work (and let me tell you- it sure beats sitting in traffic on the 401!). Canoeing all day is an amazing way to stay in shape and reduce our carbon footprint. After a long day of turtle tracking, canoeing back to the cottage can become a difficult task. That is where the role of the wind can play a big part in the ease of the canoe home. The wind has been against us all day, forcing us to use extra energy on all of the work that we’ve done so far. As we pack into the canoes and begin what seems like it will be a long and exhausting trek back to the cabin, the wind changes direction and is now at our backs! This change will get us home faster when it is needed most. It’s The Little Things like this that make our job a little easier.

Canoeing home after a particularly foggy day in the field.

We are in the middle of a large wetland tracking turtles. The sun’s rays are beaming down so strong and powerful, the temperature is 32C without humidity. It is nearing lunch and there are no clouds in sight that will ease the strength of the sun. We look around and there appears to be no shade to give us the well needed break we need. Just as we are about to give into the sun, we spot a small patch of shade in the distance, on land under a large tree. It’s The Little Things like this that allow us to take the well needed refuge from the sun to help us recharge to continue on with our tracking through the afternoon.

Shady spots are rare in these large and beautiful wetlands. Finding a good patch of shade helps us to cool down and recharge!

–Kirsten Pellerin